According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, 15.4 million consumers had $16 billion stolen in 2016 due to identity theft. In addition to these figures, since 2010, a staggering $107 billion has been stolen by identity thieves in the United States. While consumers have become very diligent in guarding against identity theft, today’s world makes it almost impossible to take every precaution needed. Because of this, the need to partner with an identity theft service has become extremely important in recent years. Whether it’s having sensitive personal data breached or having inaccurate information in your credit reports, these and other problems can turn your life upside down. If you’re wanting to ensure you don’t become a victim of identity thieves, here are some reasons why it’s important to consider using identity theft services.
Perhaps the best-known identity theft service, Lifelock offers a variety of services that can help consumers avoid the many pitfalls associated with identity theft. For starters, the company offers a 30-day free trial, allowing those who may be a bit skeptical to test its services and effectiveness. Along with this, customers also get monthly updates of their credit scores, which not only aids in monitoring, but also helps those who are attempting to build up their credit and want to track their progress on a regular basis. Like many similar companies, Lifelock will monitor a variety of personal information such as address changes and driver’s license numbers. But unlike other companies, Lifelock will unsubscribe its customers from numerous junk mail lists, which can go far in decreasing the chances of becoming an identity theft victim.
With the recent hacking of the personal information of millions of consumers from the credit reporting agency Equifax, it’s clear credit monitoring and data breaching are at the forefront of the fight against identity theft. Because of this, it’s more important than ever to work with companies that offer credit monitoring services. By working with a company that offers credit monitoring services, consumers can be alerted when a number of things occur, such as when a new loan or credit card is opened in their name, public records indicate a person has filed for bankruptcy, or a credit limit changes as well as personal information such as addresses and phone numbers change. To make sure you get the most bang for your buck, be sure to ask credit monitoring companies many important questions, such as which credit reporting agencies they monitor, how often the credit reports are monitored, and how much access you will have to your credit reports.
Entire Family Protection
While many people assume only adults are victims of identity theft, the fact is more and more identity thieves are focusing their efforts on obtaining the personal information of children. Whether it’s social security numbers, addresses, names, or other pertinent information, parents need to do as much as possible to keep their children’s personal information out of the clutches of identity thieves. To do so, it’s a good idea to partner with a company that includes protection of children’s identities in their overall package. While this may be an extra charge for some companies, more and more are now including this as part of their comprehensive family protection plans. And best of all, companies often charge less than $20 per month for these services.
Social Media Monitoring
With the continuing popularity of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, identity thieves have started to use this avenue as a way to further their ways of obtaining vital personal information. However, by utilizing the services of a company that provides identity monitoring services as part of its overall package, thieves will have a much more difficult time invading your social media accounts. With this type of monitoring, an identity theft service will alert you if personal information such as bank account data, Medicare numbers, passport data, or other information shows up in these unusual ways.
Consequences of Identity Theft
Needless to say, there are a variety of consequences that can result if a person becomes a victim of identity theft. For starters, they can find their bank accounts emptied, thanks to a thief having access to their passwords and PIN codes. Along with this, they can see a number of charges made to their credit cards, which can quickly max out their accounts. And unfortunately, once incidents such as this occur, it can take months or even years to rectify them, which can potentially ruin a person financially.
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By becoming a customer of companies such as Lifelock, you can have peace of mind when it comes to you and your family’s personal information. Rather than let identity thieves ruin your life for years to come, utilize the important services offered by identity theft companies.